GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The Gulfport School Board voted unanimously to close Gaston Point Elementary Monday night. WLOX first told you about this possible development late last month.
“This isn’t an easy decision for any of us. It is one of those decisions where you are trying to do what is best for kids," said Superintendent Glen East.
The decision comes amidst the lowest attendance in 10 years for the school.
East proposed the savings from the closure go towards teacher pay raises in the district, and that proposal passed. East has also emphasized that no faculty or staff will lose their jobs as a result of the closure.
“There is history everywhere. All of our schools have history, and I can appreciate that. I can understand that. There is a worry that you’re hurting the Gaston Point community. I don’t think that is going to be the case in the long run. It is about taking care of the Gulfport School District, our kids and taking care of our teachers,” said East.
East said the district tried everything they could, but overall attendance numbers are just too low.
“We’ve tried hard to hold on to the school as long as we could,” he explained.
This year 230 kids were enrolled in Gaston Point Elementary. In 2009, that number was 320. The 6 other elementary schools in the district have all grown in that same timeframe. As for the kids and teachers who currently attend Gaston Point, they will move to West Elementary next school year.